Former Bellator featherweight champion AJ McKee isn’t fighting anywhere other than the Bellator cage anytime soon.
Bellator announced in a Tuesday press release that they’re re-signing McKee to a new multi-year contract. Bellator President Scott Coker also revealed that McKee will compete in the upcoming Lightweight World Grand Prix tournament.
McKee most recently fought at the Bellator-Rizin cross-promotional event just weeks ago. He earned a unanimous decision victory over Roberto de Souza in his second-career lightweight appearance.
After losing a featherweight title rematch to Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire last April, McKee opted for a move to 155lbs. He won his lightweight debut against Spike Carlyle last October.
MMA Twitter Reacts To Bellator Securing AJ McKee’s Future
Here’s what MMA Twitter had to say about McKee’s new Bellator deal.
Outside of a loss to Freire, McKee is unblemished in his professional MMA career. He captured the featherweight title and the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix in 2021 in a first-round win over Freire.
McKee’s new contract sets up a potential trilogy with Freire in 2023. He’s admitted that the Freire trilogy would be the only fight he would entertain moving back down to featherweight.
First thing’s first for McKee as he prepares to compete in the upcoming lightweight tournament. Usman Nurmagomedov will get the No. 1 overall seed after dismantling Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire last year.
The full Grand Prix bracket, along with McKee’s next Bellator opponent, is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, McKee’s new deal is a massive victory for Bellator to begin 2023.
What is your reaction to AJ McKee re-signing with Bellator?